Board of Trustees

What is The Board of Trustees?

Every state school and state-integrated school in New Zealand has a board of trustees. 

Waikari Board of Trustee Members

  • Jenny Cholmondeley – Chairperson (Health and Safety, Finance)
  • Jimmy Butters – Parent Representative (Property )
  • Michael Barton – Parent representative (Property)
  • Huw Kinch- Parent Representative (Health and Safety)
  • Kerry Florance – Staff Representative
  • Yvonne Blair  – Principal

School boards are usually made up of:

  • three to seven elected parent representatives
  • the principal as the board’s chief executive, professional advisor and educational leader
  • an elected staff representative
  • an elected student representative (in schools with students above year 9)
  • co-opted trustees (optional)
  • state-integrated school proprietor/s may appoint up to four trustees.

Board’s role

Boards of trustees are accountable to parents and caregivers, their local communities, the Minister of Education and the Ministry of Education, other government agencies and the public, for their actions and performance. The board is the employer of all the school’s staff and is responsible for:

  • setting the school’s strategic and policy direction in consultation with parents, staff and students
  • ensuring that the school provides a safe environment and quality education for all its students
  • overseeing the management of curriculum, staff, property, finance and administration
  • constantly monitoring and reviewing progress against targets to inform future planning.
The board must have a charter, which sets out long-term goals and annual targets determining the school’s priorities. The board must monitor and report annually to its community and the Ministry of Education on progress towards those goals and targets.


The Waikari School Board of Trustees meet in Week 4 and 9 of each term. Board of trustees’ meetings are open to the public. However, the meeting will be closed to the public when the board is discussing confidential matters.

Standing for election

Anyone who wants to stand for election as a school trustee must confirm that, to the best of their knowledge, they are eligible to be a trustee. You don’t need to have a child at the school, or be a parent, to be a trustee. Sections 103 and 103A of the Education Act 1989 list the categories of people who aren’t eligible to be elected, appointed or co-opted as trustees. 

Board elections are held every three years. If you’d like to be on your school’s board of trustees, watch out for the next election which will be advertised on the Ministry of Education’s website or New Zealand School Trustees Association’s website.


Occasionally board members resign before their three-year term is up. If this happens, the board may hold a by-election to fill the casual vacancy. This will be advertised in the school notices or on the school’s website.Boards can sometimes co-opt trustees to the board if they need certain skills.If you’re interested, talk to the school board about what’s involved.

Trustees’ training and support

Once elected, trustees can access training and support to help them understand and carry out their responsibilities.